Pastor's Page
By Fr. George Welzbacher
August 12, 2012

First off, this excerpt from Peggy Noonan's latest essay in The Wall Street Journal "From a friend watching the Olympics: 'How about that Michael Phelps? But let's remember, HE didn't win all those medals, SOMEONE ELSE did. After all, he and I swam in public pools built by state employees using tax dollars. He got training from the USOC, and ate food grown by the Department of Agriculture. He should play fair and share his medals with people like ME!'..." [Emphasis added]
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And now, an item for our "No Comment" department.

Draft Democratic Platform Backs Gay Marriage
The Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2012
Naftali Bendavid and Laura Meckler

Democrats drafting their party's platform have UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED INCLUDING AN ENDORSEMENT OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE, Democratic aides and gay activists say, putting the policy stance on track to be part of a major-party platform for the first time.

The party is hefting such a move could energize the base WITHOUT turning off independents. But it could complicate the message of swing-state Democratic candidates and those vying for the votes of African Americans, who oppose gay marriage in greater percentages than much of the population.

The question of whether to include the measure has been intensely debated. But the recent backing of same-sex marriage by President Obama CLEARED THE PATH for the decision.

The platform isn't yet final, but the unanimous approval Sunday by a 15-member drafting committee makes the plank's inclusion likely. The vote wasn't publicly announced by the party.

The full platform committee meets August 10-12 in Detroit, where it will consider the draft platform. The document will then be forwarded for approval by delegates to the party's national convention, to be held in September in Charlotte, N.C....

In addition to endorsing same-sex marriage, Democratic aides said, the party platform is expected to call for the REPEAL OF THE FEDERAL DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT, WHICH DEFINES MARRIAGE AS BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN, and to endorse the Employment Non- Discrimination Act, which PROHIBITS discrimination in hiring on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Republican strategists predicted the Democratic platform would make life uncomfortable for Democratic candidates in conservative states....

In February 2011, the [U.S.] Justice Department announced IT WOULD NO LONGER DEFEND THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT AGAINST LEGAL CHALLENGES [though it is legally obliged to offer such defense]. In May, Mr. Biden and Mr. Obama publicly backed same-sex marriage, marking the first time a president has taken such a position.

The issue erupted again in recent weeks when Dan Cathy, president and chief executive of Chick-fil-A, the restaurant chain, said he opposed gay marriage. That has provoked demonstrations from opponents and supporters of Mr. Cathy's position.

Marc Solomon, national campaign director of Freedom to Marry, called the vote of the Democratic platform "a momentous step, because it puts one of our two national political parties on record supporting freedom to marry."

Critics of same-sex marriage called the move a major misstep. They say that the country's social, religious, and cultural foundations define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

"That's terrible news," said Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association. "I am a little surprised they would put it in the platform, because there are a lot of Democrats who don't agree with that, especially in the black community."

He added, "I don't see how a socially conservative Democrat can stay with the party now."

Gay marriage is now legal in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Iowa and the District of Columbia. Voters in Maryland, Washington, and Maine will vote on measures seeking to make it legal in those states in November. Opponents point out that voters in 32 states have voted against gay-marriage rights. [Emphasis added].
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Pope Benedict, Christ's wise and saintly Vicar on earth, has repeatedly shown himself to be, for all of his serenity, not in the least afraid of a battle when it comes to defending the truth. The truth that more than any other stands "under the gun" today is the truth that homosexual behavior constitutes a grave disorder in what pertains to the sources of sacred human life and is therefore a disorder that is seriously sinful, emptying the soul of that supernatural light and life that we call sanctifying grace, without which no one can enter Christ's Eternal Kingdom.

To assert this truth in today's society is to evoke demonic rage. Pope Benedict is willing to evoke it. And he has called upon America's bishops to assert this eternal truth in concert with the Universal Church, come hell or high water!

Into this fray, into the very vipers' den of immorality that San Francisco, the "Sodom on the Bay", has become, Pope Benedict has sent a new archbishop, Salvatore Cordileone. (Well named, he, Cordileone being Italian for "Lion-heart"!). May I share with you here a LifeSite News report on San Francisco's new archbishop.

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New San Francisco Archbishop Required Catholic Homosexual Group to Sign Oath of Fidelity
LifeSiteNews, July 31, 2012
Patrick B. Craine

SAN FRANCISCO, California, July 31, 2012 ( - In what one Catholic pundit described as the Pope's "bombshell by the Bay," Benedict XVI has appointed stalwart pro-life and pro-family Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of Oakland to lead the challenging see of San Francisco.

The archbishop-elect, who led the charge for Proposition 8 [defining marriage as between one man and one woman] and now heads the U.S. bishops'  nation-wide battle against same-sex "marriage," will take over an archdiocese long- considered a bastion of dissent, particularly on the issue of homosexuality.

The archdiocese is home to Most Holy Redeemer Parish, renowned for its homosexual activism; the Rainbow Sash Movement, a group dedicated to protesting Catholic teaching on homosexuality; the "Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence," a group of homosexual men who dress in drag [in nuns' habits] to protest Catholic teaching; and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi one of America's most infamous and strident pro-abortion Catholic politicians. Michael Harank, self-described as a "lifelong Catholic," told the San Francisco Chronicle that the city is "one of the hearts of the gay liberation story" and called Cordileone's appointment a "SLA-P IN THE FACE to the gay community" because of his work as "one of the financial fathers and creators of Proposition 8."

Besides his work on the same-sex "marriage" front, Cordileone, 56, has taken the more difficult step of working to rein in the national Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry, which is based in the Oakland diocese.

After over a year of talks with the group, in April Cordileone warned its board that he would take "public action" to clarify its status "with regard to authentic Catholic ministry" if board members refused to sign an "oath of personal integrity" that they would "strive to clearly present Catholic doctrine on homosexuality in its fullness."

The board had refused to sign the oath twice before, claiming it raises issues of conscience.

During his tenure as bishop, Cordileone has also been a stalwart defender of the right to life, as well as an advocate for traditional liturgy including greater use of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

In his opening homily at his installation in Oakland on May 5, 2009, he lamented that the United States has become "a land that shows itself all too often unwelcoming toward the most defenseless of our brothers and sisters who are not even given a chance to be born, and so are eliminated from society even BEFORE they see the light of day."

Even before his installation, in April 2009, Bishop Cordileone visited Oakland pro-life pastor Reverend Walter Hoye in prison, because, according to a spokesman, "he respects Hoye's affirmation of the value of human life."

Cordileone told reporters Friday he was "frustrated" that his views on same-sex "marriage" were dominating the storyline about his appointment. "I wish I didn't have to expend so much time and energy on something that should be self-evident," he said.

"But this is the high-profile issue," he continued. "It's a foundational issue. For whatever God's reason, it's the issue He's given us at this point in history, so I'm not going to run from it...."
[Emphasis added].
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A veteran battler against the enemies of Christ's Truth, Chicago's Cardinal Archbishop Francis George issued a public response to the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's former Chief of Staff, after Mayor Emanuel voiced strong opposition, as did several other Democratic mayors of major cities, to allowing Chick-fil-A's restaurant chain to open a new restaurant within the mayor's "domain." The reason cited for such opposition was the emphatic public support for defining marriage as between one man and one woman expressed by the restaurant chain's owner, Dan Cathy. Here is what Cardinal George had to say.
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Archdiocese of Chicago
Catholic Chicago Blog
Sunday, July 29, 2012

Reflections on "Chicago values"
By Francis Cardinal George, OMI

Recent comments by those who administer our city seem to assume that the city government can decide for everyone what are the "values" that must he held by citizens of Chicago. I was born and raised here, and my understanding of being a Chicagoan never included submitting my value system to the government for approval. Must those whose personal values do not conform to those of the government of the day MOVE from the city? Is the City Council going to set up a "Council Committee on Un-Chicagoan Activities" and call those of us who are suspect to appear before it? I would have argued a few days ago that I believe such a move is, if I can borrow a phrase, "un-Chicagoan."

The value in question is espousal of "gender-free marriage." Approval of state-sponsored homosexual unions has very quickly become a litmus test for bigotry; and espousing the understanding of marriage that has prevailed among all peoples throughout human history is now, supposedly, outside the American consensus. Are Americans so exceptional that we are free to define "marriage" (or other institutions we did not invent) at will? What are we re-defining?

It might be good to put aside any religious teaching and any state laws and start from scratch, from nature itself, when talking about marriage. Marriage existed before Christ called together his first disciples two thousand years ago and well before the United States of America was formed two hundred and thirty six years ago. Neither Church nor state invented marriage, and neither can change its nature.

Marriage exists because human nature comes in two complementary sexes: male and female. The sexual union of a man and woman is called the marital act because the two become physically ONE in a way that is impossible between two men or two women. Whatever a homosexual union might be or represent, it is not physically marital. Gender is inextricably bound up with physical sexual identity; and "gender-free marriage" is a contradiction in terms, like a square circle.

Both Church and state do, however, have an interest in REGULATING marriage. It is not that religious marriage is private and civil marriage public; rather, marriage is a public institution in both Church and state. The state regulates marriage to assure stability in society and for the proper protection and raising of the next generation of citizens. The state has a vested interest in knowing who is married and who is not and in fostering good marriages and strong families for the sake of society.

The Church, because Jesus raised the marital union to the level of symbolizing His own union with His Body the Church, has an interest in determining which marital unions are sacramental and which are not. The Church sees married life as a path to sanctity and as the means for raising children in the faith, as citizens of the universal kingdom of God. These are all legitimate interests of both Church and state, but they assume and do not create the nature of marriage.

People who are not Christian or religious at all take for granted that marriage is the union of a man and a woman for the sake of family and, of its nature, for life. The laws of civilizations much older than ours assume this understanding of marriage. This is also what religious leaders of almost all faiths have taught throughout the ages. Jesus affirmed this understanding of marriage when he spoke of "two becoming one flesh" (Mt. 19: 4-6). Was Jesus a bigot? Could Jesus be accepted as a Chicagoan? Would Jesus be more "enlightened" if he had the privilege of living in our society? One is welcome to believe that, of course; but it should not become the official state religion, at least not in a land that still fancies itself free. Surely there must be a way to properly respect people who are gay or lesbian without using civil law to undermine the nature of marriage.

Surely we can find a way NOT to play off newly invented individual rights to "marriage" against constitutionally protected freedom of religious belief and religious practice. The State's attempting to redefine marriage has become a defining moment not for marriage, which is what it is, but for our increasingly fragile "civil union" as citizens.

Francis Cardinal George, OMI
Archbishop of Chicago
[Emphasis added].

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